WEST KENSINGTON, London— Optrafair London 2014, held here at Olympia Central from April 11 to 13, made a successful debut attracting some 4,616 attendees who came to see over 150 exhibitors boasting 500 brands, according to show organizers. The new show, set to run in alternate years to the main Optrafair event in Birmingham, U.K., was organized by The Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) in conjunction with The OPTICIAN journal.

Innovative products and companies were front and center at Optrafair London as visitors to the three-day event showed interest for technology and products that will set their practices apart, organizers said. New gadgetry, space age diagnostics, bespoke contact lenses, business advice, significant advances in IT and fashion eyewear drew visitors to one of the most comprehensive optical show ever staged in London, according to show organizers.

Boots Opticians’ new managing director, Ben Fletcher, commented that Optrafair “provided a great opportunity to take the company’s plans forward and to promote its ambitious opening program of 40 new stores within the next 12 months. I like the variety of the show and it is good to be part of a competitive industry as it forces us to be our best. It is great to see a real range of equipment and other practice operators: there is so much opportunity in the U.K. for our business,” he said.

For over 40 years, Optrafair has provided the U.K. optical industry with a world-class exhibition in Birmingham. The FMO said its efforts to move the show to West Kensington means the profession and industry can be confident that a world-class event will now take place in London as well and will provide a showcase for U.K. optical brands in an overseas destination gaining in popularity.

The FMO and OPTICIAN Journal said they were pleased with the industry support at the inaugural Optrafair London and believe much can be developed from this initial show. Optrafair returns to Birmingham in April 2015, with another show planned for London in 2016.